Nissefar - HaandBryggeriet

Not Rated.
NissefarNissefar

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BA SCORE
87
very good

157 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 157
Reviews: 95
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 6
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
HaandBryggeriet visit their website
Norway

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Sigmund on 06-17-2007)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 157 | Reviews: 95 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours black as hell with a mocha colored two finger head that actually takes a few minutes to go subside in my long hammer ipa glass.
big roasty chocolate with tons of black fruit anywhere from rasin and fig to black cherry and perhaps just a slight bit of booze hidden in there.
most of the fruit stays in the nose and just gives way to chocolate and its probably some of the smoothest most delicious chocolate ever. theres a little bit of sweetness initially bit it quickly disappears after each sip. just a light touch of carbonation is perfect for this beer, and although is listed as an american porter, i feel its just a little bit bolder than most other of the same style, that ive experienced anyways.
drinkability is fantastic. i could enjoy it any day, night, or for friggin breakfast. total yum.

Photo of homebrew311
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Durty Nellies, one of the 12 Beers of Christmas.

A: appears pitch black with a short cocoa colored head. Not very good head retention, however, when this beer is swirled a nice frothy head appears. Decent lacing of dense white bubbles.

S: notes of deep chocolate and roasted barley notes up front among some oat character. This brew turns into a hop monster by the end with some big piny notes that complement the chocolate well.

T: not as much chocolate on the palate as the nose suggests (bummer) leaning much more towards the hop profile of the brew. The roast starts on the front but is quickly dominated by bitterness from black patent and hops.

MF: the body is a tad thinner that I would like for the flavor, silky texture, sharp finish.

D: this is a unique take on an American Porter. My first brew from Haanbryggeriet, and certainly not my last. The flavor profile begs for a bigger body and a bigger beer, but as it is, it is quite tasty.

Photo of corby112
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes:

Pours a very dark chestnut brown color with a thin half finger tan head that quickly dissipates leaving only minimal spots of lacing. Visible carbonation bubbling up.

Roasted malt aroma with a prominent dark fruit presence. Hints of cherry, plum, raisin date and fig. There's also some nice peppery spice, especially cinnamon and peppermint, in the nose.

Medium bodied and very quaffable with a nice balance of roasty malt, sweet dark fruit notes and peppery spiciness. The dark fruit notes are prominent with hints of sour cherry, plum, raisin and fig. This is countered by the sightly roasted chocolate/caramel malt flavor resulting in a slight sweet creamy feel mid palate. There's also a good amount of peppery spice with hints of cinnamon and peppermint. I'm also picking up a slight medicinal syrup flavor before a dry and slightly tart finish. Very nice.

Photo of Beerenauslese
3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Drinking batch 169 with an expiration of August, 2010, if that means anything at all.

Pours very dark translucent brown with a slight head that dissipates completely.

Smells malty, wet hay, a little funk.

Taste is slightly sour, lots of charred malt, a little lemon or lemon peel.

Mouthfeel is light and flat. No carbonation.

I could drink this once but would not seek it out again. I don't see what is so Xmassy about this compared to the more interesting Xmas beers out there. This is a bit one-themed.

Photo of Bung
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked up at Greens in Columbia.
Poured deep brown with a huge light tan head. Head dissappated quick enough though to a layer.

Toasted malt, chocolate, then some raisin and cherries. Some slightly strange fruitiness going on. Finishes a tad dry and some lactose like qualities. Not quite sure what to make of that.

A bit thin, flows down easy, but there just isn't enough body to hold this one together. $8 for the 500ml? will probably pass on this again.

Probably my least favorite that I've had from HaandBryggeriet, which is all right since the rest have been outstanding.

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

HaandBryggeriet Nissefar. Batch 169. Brewed Aug 08, Best Bef. Aug 10. Whuh, oh,

Dark brown body, or is it black? Slim dark brown head.

Aroma: bourbon, vanilla, maple. Whatever this is, it's whiskey barrel-aged, for sure. Nothing is really given away on the label, except "Norwegian holiday beer" and lots of stuff about gnomes.

Taste: Whiskey flavor is huge initially in the mouthfeel, sweet, slick, ...but lacking in body, could use a ton more malt in here. I'm still struggling to figure out exactly what the base beer is, or if there's any other flavoring involved.

Hmmm, is the oldness of the ale giving way, has it lost so much in the 3 months that have passed since it's expiration. But, it's still got plenty of flavor, just has me wondering what else was going on. It's still tasty and spicy, and delicious.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.13/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass only produces a half-finger thick, deeply amber tinged, tan colored head that pretty quickly recedes. The beer is a dark, concentrated brown color that shows clearish, deep, concentrated ruby highlights when held up to the light. Up front the nose smells of spicy and toasted grain, but it quickly picks up a fruitiness and almost nutty quality (sort of like a very fruity nut, if there is such a thing). There is an underlying richness to the nose that is almost savory and at other times this seems to reminds me of coconut (though not in the same way some barrel aged beers achieve). Supporting notes that are subtly noticeable remind me of earthy, damp cellars some how. Some of the more pronounced aromatics smell of brown sugar, and caramelized sweet holiday breads. The aroma is quite interesting, and I can't quite figure it out.

My first sip is lightly sweet tasting with a medium rich body that helps this to lightly coat the tongue. There is a funkiness to the flavor here that makes me think there is something other than a standard yeast strain in this beer; it is not overly funky, but contributes a hint of tartness, a background mustiness and something that seems like rotting fruit. There is a thinning, toasted malt character here that seems like it should be richer than it is. Really this has a lot of fruitiness to it, likely the funkiness accentuates this, but it reminds me of candied fruit, or perhaps even more of a dense fruit cake, though this beer isn't overly sweet or rich. In the end I think I would describe this best as tasting like a fruit cake made with some rustic whole grains and that has been allowed to get moldy and funky, but only just a touch).

I am not sure about this beer, the aroma is down right interesting, and not even unpleasant, but the flavor is a little too weird. I could be convinced that this wasn't infected, and the weird notes are simply a product of interesting ingredient selection, but I don't think so.

Photo of metter98
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer poured jet black in color with a tan head so massive that it filled half the height of the mug, which took a long time to settle down. It has very good head retention properties.
S: There are aromas of earthy hops, lightly roasted dark malts and spices in the nose along with some hints of chocolate.
T: The taste is rather complex and has flavors of bittersweet chocolate, chicory, coffee beans, dark fruits and spices. The hops contribute a slight amount of bitterness to the overall taste.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate with a minimal amount of carbonation. There's a moderate amount of dryness, which becomes more prominent in the finish. The alcohol also contributes a slight amount of warming sensations.
D: The beer isn't that difficult to drink, except that the head was so large that it took several pours into a large mug to empty the bottle. The amount of spices in this beer definitely makes it one that needs to be sipped.

Note: Batch 163, Bottled June 2008

Photo of domtronzero
3.15/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 169. Brewed Aug. 2008, best before Aug 2010 (perfect timing).

A - Pours a deep mahogany brown with ruby highlights at the edges. Tightly formed thin short lived head dissipates almost immediately into the glass.

S - A light chocolaty dark malt character mixes with a slightly acidic, acrid, almost sour black malt aroma. Very light bodied as far as the smell goes; very thin and simple. Yeast character comes through as a nice dark fruit basket. Plums and prunes, raisins, etc. A little bit of perfumey alcohol is also detectable.

F/M - Chocolaty and bready dark malts. The sour/acrid black malt character is more detectable in the flavor than in the aroma. Bitterness is balanced and allows a clean finish, the flavors don't linger around in the aftertaste for too long. Medium light bodied. Too light of a body for a "holiday" ale. Maybe they like thin, watered-down beers during the winter months? Probably not.

D - Easy drinking, but only due to the lower-than-average body and thin mouthfeel. Flavors are balanced well but they are just muted and should be allowed to be more prevalent. I prefer bigger holiday ales and this just wouldn't suffice when I am in the mood for a big winter warmer.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 8/4/10 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains rich roasted malts, dark chocolate, black coffee and what smells like Belgian yeast.

T: The taste is very malty up front and very smoky with a very hearty malt character and what seems like a Belgian yeast backbone. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly smoky and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a nice dark beer with a Belgian twist on it making it worth drinking for a while.

Photo of glid02
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours black with a 1.5-finger brown head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of muted roasted malts with good amounts of dark chocolate aromas. Also present are hints of licorice.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Smooth roasted malt flavors with good amounts of dark chocolate kick things off. Midway through the sip very mild amounts of anise flavors work their way into things before fading out into a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass quickly and could have another.

Overall this beer didn't blow me away but I found it to be very smooth and easy to drink. Worth a shot.

Photo of avalon07
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a black color and a thick texture. There was an inch of tan-colored, foamy/fizzy, somewhat long-lasting head. Not much lacing to speak of.

S: A subdued aroma of dark fruit, chocolate, and coffee.

T: Tasted of chocolate, coffee, raisins, and perhaps a little bit of licorice. A nicely done flavor.

M: An OK amount of carbonation with a slightly slick finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A solidly made, drinkable porter.

Photo of dpnelson1978
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.
Original tasting: 12/31/2009

500cl. bottle into glass pint.
55°F

$7.99 / ea.

S: Ripe red fruit, raisins, and a dark roasted aroma. Smells like a Belgian Dark Ale.

A: Opaque dark brown body with a creamy tan medium head of moderate retention. Some minor lacing and a thin broken cover. Legs.

T: Slightly sour, but balanced taste. Bitter chocolate and coffee notes. Dark roasted malt backbone. No hop character to speak of. Bit of a sour aftertaste.

M: Light body, light carbonation. Smooth and somewhat creamy.

D: Light beer and deceptively high in alcohol. This brew has a unique taste that, while interesting, is not something I would drink in large amounts.

O: Respectable brew with an interesting taste that makes for good conversation, but not "my thing".

Photo of asabreed
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 169. Bewed August 08th, Best before August 10th.

16.9 oz. bottle into a 12. Samuel Smith nonic.

Appearance: Very much appearing like a Guinness: seemingly opaque but really dark, dark amber. A frothy, concentrated-looking head sits a top and leaves some big raindrops of lacing.

Smell: Interesting notes between roasted, sour, and chocolate. Seems more like a Belgian Porter to me here. This is certainly much thinner and less dark than many American Porters, so the roasted and charred are present, but balanced, and fairly minimum. Sour cherries and farmhouse yeast mix with the lighter yet charred chocolate.

Taste: Initially huge sourness, then mellowing into the Porter-like charred nature, coming into some fruit esters, more sourness, and finishes slightly and interestingly sour and bitter, with the chocolate, sourness, and mild fruit overtones, more like cherries or sour apples.

Mouthfeel: For an American Porter, this would be on the thinner side, though it's certainly a complex brew. A little more watery than I'd have liked, with carbonation nearly coming at the very end, oddly enough, and that's it. However, the lack of carbonation does enhance the ability to get more flavor at that point, so it's not lose-lose.

Drinkability: Solid and interesting, and though I would try it again, the price and limited availability make me want to go after some more of their other beers instead.

Photo of sprucetip
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes. Batch 163, June 08. Poured murky dark brown, but with lots of activity on top. Fizzy tan head dissipates almost immediately. No lacing. Big yeast chunks in bottom of the glass when finished.

Roasty, burnt, and sour/tart influences blending uniquely with some malty sweetness. Floral hops struggle to be noticed.

Prominent but not overly dominant farmhouse type tart sourness leads. Some smoky roasty flavors underneath add a layer of complexity. Some fruitiness accompanies the sour tartness. Very mild bitterness and faintly noticeable hops.

Fizzy bite, medium body but with thinnish sensation. Light viscosity and gentle warming.

I was way stoked to find this in my remote town of 800 in SE Alaska, but had no idea what to expect, but this certainly wasn't it. I didn't know until I went to write this review that it was labeled an American Porter. I'm not exactly sure what category I would place it in, but not that one. I enjoyed it more and more as I nursed the sample, but wasn't thrilled upon first sip. I think the most defining feature of this is the moderate but undeniable tart sourness character that has me thinking "farmhouse."

Photo of drpimento
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Odd pour- Looked like it was going to be flat with only some big soap bubbles at first. After the pour the beer started cascading like Guinness and did have a very fine creamy small tan head with no lace. Maybe an error in bottle conditoning if they did that? Color is an opaque brownish black with red highlights. Aroma is excellent with roast malt cocoa coffee pine fruit eucalyptus. Flavor doesn't have quite so much going on but similar and still very good. Body isn't bad but the flatness doesn't help. Finish is like flavor. Sure want to try another that's properly carbonated.

Photo of dirtylou
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottle - served up at recent scandanavian tasting at brasserie v

appearance: generous pour in a belgian tulip - creamy dark mocha body, light chocolate froth

smell: rich chocolate, sour cherry, woody, caramel, brown sugar, raisin

taste: Interesting porter - rich chocolate is met immediately with a tart cherry presence, oak, caramel, raisin. not nearly as extreme as the NG old english porter, but heading in that direction

mouthfeel: medium-thin body, light to moderate
tartness

drinkability: ok

Photo of froghop
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours black with a very large khaki head that stays around throughout, and some lacing.

smell is of dark fruit, cocoa, some spice, and a little wild yeast.

taste is of dark fruit, cocoa, spice, a little pepper, some smoke, malt, and a few hops, ends somewhat dry.

Photo of Brent
3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is either something other than an American porter or it is a bad bottle. Pour was a nice, dark brown. Massive tan head. Up front a wine going on vinegar lactic sourness, follwed by some raisin and prune dark fruit flavors. Finish was dry. Kind of hard to get a handle on - blindfolded I would have guessed a Flanders oud bruin or some other aged Belgian sour style.

Photo of Tilley4
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 163... Bottled on June 08, best by June 11..

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint...

This pours amazingly black with a very thick creamy foamy head of mocha... Extremely persistent head that never falls... Awesome lacing as well... A perfect porter....

Fairly pungent roasted chocolatey malts mixed with a damn surprising hoppiness that I can't believe is still present after almost 2 years in the bottle... There might be a little fruitiness here as well.. Pretty cool for a Christmas beer...

The hops don't come in as prevalent in the taste but they are still there.. The dark roasted maltiness and hints of fruit mix well together here... No real spice to speak of but that's fine with me in the world of often overspiced world of holiday ales... Its a little overcarbonated which isn't that big of a deal but a little more body would be nice...

Overall, an interesting take on a holiday ale... Went well on a cool late March evening accompanied by some smoked gruyere and wheat crackers...

Photo of beerthulhu
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 163. Brewed June 08. Best before June 2011. Consumed March 2010.

A: Poured a charcoal black with an initial head that occupied a greater portion of the glass. The head was foamy, corkboard brown in color, and slowly lapsed leaving a towering center piece in the middle. Only a few speckled patches remained for a lacing. The bottom of the glass finds an accumulation of bran colored yeast cake covering a good portion of the glass.

S: Cough medicine is apparent on the nose. Boozy raisins and plums along with wet cardboard and pancake batter combine to give odd results. Not really intriguing or what I think of when I think of a Christmas ale. There is a faint scent of chocolate and a yeasty tartness that accompanies dried black cherries on the close.

T: The flavor was burnt coffee at first with a bit of yeasty sourness and stale chocolate. Dark fruit of prunes and dates are evident along with dried vegetative matter. The yeastiness comes through midway through the drink and particularly on the finish with strong notes of wet grains and musky barnyard suggestions. Yeasty, against a softy roasty malting. It takes some time to warm up to this but you soon will come to appreciate its flavor.

M: Slight carbonation factor, creamy, but a bit light overall substance wise. A nice yeasty and dry chocolately fade comes upon the swallow.

D: Drinkability was decent. Yeasty, slightly sour though a bomber is plenty for me at any given setting. Good for a serving but comes off rather expensive $7.

Photo of champ103
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 2008 bottle.

A: Pours an opaque brown color, nearly black. This is a slow gusher, but manageable. The beige foam finally settles to a nice two finger cap. Good retention, and light lace.
S: Sweet malt up front that is lightly roasted. Lots of spices in the nose. Cinnamon and ginger. Vanilla and some chocolate as well.
T: Follows the nose. Sweet malt with some cinnamon and ginger. Piny flavors as well. Chocolate lingers. Lightly roasted.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Crisp, but smooth at the same time. Smooth and easy to drink. I am having no problems finishing the bottle.

This is interesting. I would not call this a porter, though this does have a few years of age. I have not had this fresh, so it is hard to say. Still, this reminds me a lot of Anchors Our Special Ale. In that vain, this is something that is very enjoyable. Recommended.

Photo of John_M
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an American porter? Whatever. On tap at Max's today.

In any event, the beer pours a fairly dark amber copper color with OK head retention and minimal lacing. The nose is quite meaty and smokey, with a hint of sweet malt. It's a fine smelling beer, especially for those who appreciate an Alaskan smoked porter every now and again. I also get a considerable amout of smoke on the palate as well, with some underlying sweet malt. The smoke counters the malt flavor pretty well, leading to a fairly long, relatively dry finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a fairly long and drawn out finish. At least for me, the smoke is not a detraction at all, and so I think this beer's drinkability is pretty good.

While this beer is not the least bit porter-like in my mind, it's still a very easy to enjoy dark ale (which is how it's described on the beer menu at Max's). Interesting beer.

The folks at Max's assured me that this was indeed what I was drinking, which has me wondering if they might have tweaked the recipe. My review of this beer on tap is nothing like what I recall from the bottle version I had some time back.

Photo of jdhilt
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger beige head that fades slowly to a thin layer, leaving some lace. Black color, no highlights. Roasted chocolate nose. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is roasted chocolate and molasses. Pricey but worth trying at $10.00 for a 500ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Aug 2008 bottle

A: black with a beige head that last a few minutes and leaves little, if any, lacing

S: chocolate, alcohol, roasted malt, an unexpected sourness

T: chocolate, toffee, alcohol, a lactic sourness. As I get further into the bottle, the sourness bothers me more and more. While it was intriguing at first, I think it's just a little weird, and is wearing on me toward the end of the bottle. The alcohol is more present than I would like, especially given that this brew is almost a year and a half old, and is only 7% to begin with.

M: Smooth, slightly creamy - I wish the mouthfeel was a little thicker. There's a slight hop bitterness in the finish.

D: A decent beer for the winter season. I'm glad I tried it, but for $9, I'd rather get a good sixer or a nice 750ml.

Nissefar from HaandBryggeriet
87 out of 100 based on 157 ratings.